Those rugby football aficionados who made their way to Bridgwater RFC last Thursday evening to watch the Somerset County RFU Webb Ellis Senior Cup Final between near-neighbours North Petherton RFC and the Taunton RFC second XV, The Warriors, were treated to a real full-bloodied contest with the Warriors emerging the victors 22-18 after a hard-fought battle.
There was a marked contrast in styles between the two sides with Pethert on using their heavier pack of forwards as their spearhead where as The Warriors chose to rely more on their swifter-moving backs with both sides holding sway for lengthy periods. First blood went to The Warriors with a try after five minutes by No 8 Brett Harvey only for Petherton to catch the Taunton side asleep at the front of the line-out and the alert Aaron Gibbs nipped in for the touchdown and the conversion being successful from the boot of Mitch Needham. Then almost from the resumption Sam Baker landed a penalty goal for the Warriors to sneak back into the lead, 8-7, and hold it until half-time.
The first 15-20 minutes of the second session belonged to Petherton as their chunky forwards hammered away at the over-worked Warriors defence. During that period Petherton scored a try and a penalty through Harry Auton and The Warriors sneaked in with a try by Chris Francis, converted by Sam Baker, very much against the run of play. So the half ran to its final quarter with the scores tied up at 15-15 and the suddenly The Warriors began to assert themselves and came right back into it as Petherton tired.
A try by Dan Ogden, again converted by Sam Baker, put the Warriors 22 – 15 ahead but such was Petherton’s determination a penalty goal by Harry Auton brought Pethy within a sniff of glory before the very able Somerset Society referee, Adam Wookey, brought proceedings to an end.
A very enjoyable evening with full commitment from both teams , marred only by the ref handing out yellow cards to Morgan of Petherton and Johnson of the Warriors for a display of over-exuberance during a handbag scuffle. There is no doubt the game was worthy of a final and the large crowd would have gone home content